The stars of Olympic sweat mopping
One of the plum volunteer jobs at these Games belongs to the sweat moppers, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Competition to dash onto courts soaked in sweat was fierce: volleyball had 100 16-person teams apply for just three student group spots, the newspaper said.
Training was tough: The volleyball moppers practiced for nine months at a gym with supermarket mops and a stopwatch, the newspaper said.
Then there's the limelight: During badminton matches, the newspaper says, "some eager Chinese spectators yell 'court mopper, jia you!' or, 'court moppers, go for it!'"
And the strategy: Badminton players "are known to attempt to take extra, and illegal, breaks by asking moppers to do spot cleans." So only the umpires can order a mop-up.
You have to be quick and nimble and keep your mouth shut. The last thing an athlete needs is to collide with or hear advice from a sweat mopper, even if many of them are junior players in their sport.
Badminton sweat mopper Ainsley Richards, 17, found that particularly hard when gold medallist Lin Dan thanked her. "How can you not smile at Lin Dan? I'm in love," she sighed to the WSJ.